FACETS, a local nonprofit that opens doors by helping families and individuals who suffer the effects of poverty in Fairfax County, has just launched a monthly youth volunteer program.
"We often get inquiries from youth interested in volunteering. That’s why we developed this new program," said Amanda Andere, FACETS executive director. "Our goal is to inspire them and help them understand the broader needs of the community and the importance of getting involved."
Every month, FACETS will host a volunteer activity, typically at its headquarters in the City of Fairfax. The event requires an hour and a half commitment. Youth who attend will spend the first hour engaged in a volunteer activity, such as sorting donations or performing other organizing functions. The last half hour will be about FACETS role in the community.
Though the volunteer activities will vary, FACETS expects these events to give youth an opportunity to contribute to its work. Currently, these activities are held once a month in the evening. Based on interest, FACETS may also add weekend opportunities for youth.
"These opportunities are ideal for students who need service hours for school. Younger youth are also welcome, but parents must stay during the activity," Andere said.
The first youth volunteer event took place in December and drew 20 teens. They sorted donations and stocked the shelves in FACETS emergency food pantry; assembled toiletry kits for guests of the Hypothermia Prevention and Response Program; and made cards and wrapped holiday gifts that had been donated for guests of the Hypothermia Prevention and Response Program.
The next event will be Thursday, Feb. 16 from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at FACETS office, 10640 Page Avenue, Suite 300. Guidelines for group volunteer projects are also available on request to enable schools or youth groups to offer group volunteer projects at their own locations. For more information, go to www.FacetsCares.org or contact Melissa Edwards at medwards@FacetsCares.org.